Washington International Law Journal


Yutaka Ishida


Japan’s Antimonopoly Proceeding has repeatedly changed throughout the 21st century. Originally enacted as the Preliminary Review Procedure, the administrative process evolved into the Complaint Review Procedure from 2005 to 2013, before becoming the Direct Appeal to District Court Procedure in effect now. The proceedings allow the Japan Fair Trade Commission ("JFTC") to regulate the market and shield it from monopolistic behavior. The Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers, and Publishers ("JASRAC") dominates the music copyright management service provider industry in Japan. The company's fee collection methods led the JFTC to issue it a cease and desist order under the Antimonopoly Act. JASRAC subsequently initiated the administrative review process, which was the Complaint Review Procedure at the time, and the case was eventually appealed to the Supreme Court of Japan. During the litigation process, e-License, JASRAC's sole competitor, became involved as well, raising unique third party standing issues in conjunction with the Antimonopoly Act. Accompanied by a partial translation of the Tokyo High Court opinion in the JASRAC case, this comment analyzes the Japanese Antimonopoly Act and its administrative review process, while focusing on the procedural posture presented. As the Japanese government continues its efforts to halt monopolistic activities and enforce the statute, the issue of whether third parties have standing to sue will remain relevant moving forward.

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